Thank you for being my welcoming adopted home for (most of) the past 20 years!
21 July commemorates the day on which Leopold I took the constitutional oath as the first King of Belgium, in 1831 …
… but not before he turned down another royal job offer: to rule as the Monarch of Greece!
After the Greek War of Independence (1821-32), Leopold had been offered the throne of Greece. But the country was volatile and divided, with the Turks hoping to gain back the lost ground, on the one hand, and the European powers refusing to grant conditions that would assure the stability and welfare of his new Kingdom, on the other. Leopold gracefully declined.
On 21 July 1831, the German Prince of Saxe-Coburg took the oath at the Place Royale in Brussels and became the first King of the Belgians. Considering the short-lived monarchy in Greece, Leopold chose wisely, n’est–ce pas?